Sunday, November 12, 2023

Combining Bangles

Back when I was trying to make lower priced "stuff" to sell I started making "tiny bangles" for $20. Even $20 didn't feel good when I sold them due to the amount of work that I put into these bangles. I had made enough to fill a display and they've been floating around my studio and pop-ups for years now, occasionally 1 or 2 selling. I've gotten really tired of looking at them and they tend to represent the years when I had a desperation to sell something, anything. Now that I'm in a really good place and only make what I feel inspired to make I've been cleaning out my studio and removing anything that I don't like anymore or I'll cut it up to reuse the materials. 

These tiny bangles were initially on the chopping block but I have a hard time cutting up anything I've made, even if it's something I no longer like. I created them to be an option to layer with other bracelets and each other. The issue is that being only 2 or 3 beads wide doesn't allow them to keep a good bangle structure. So they end up a bit floppy and unattractive (in my mind). I'd layer them for a pop of color with other bracelets but now that I barely wear jewelry they just take up space that I'd like to reclaim.

One of my recent studio cleaning days I decided I might be able to put some of them together to make the bigger bangles that I like better. I put the first one together (above) and now I like it! They're actually fun to play with which stripes and solids go well together. It's a fun practice of putting together colors and designs in a direction I wouldn't usually take. 

Creative play has become more important to me than making to sell. I'm seeing more and more artists and makers throwing in the towel because they can't make enough to cover time, supplies, studio, not to mention the amount of work it takes to constantly post on social media, update websites etc. When we have to make to sell instead of play and discover it looses all the fun. I was starting to have days where it was more fun going to work at my day job then hunkering down in the studio. Ok, that still happens too.

This year has started to be a lot more about playing and rediscovering why I love fiber art rather than making any final products. It's more about process, play, design, new techniques and color. 

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